Why we are losing the night sky

Why we are losing the night sky

It never gets dark anymore. Not REALLY dark, anyway. Not like it used to. Light pollution is not only making it more difficult to see the night sky, but it’s also affecting our health. For the past century and a half, since the dawn of electric light, we’ve been losing our connection to the night. We need artificial light for modern society, of course. The problem is, we need darkness for our health, and for the health of wildlife and…

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Proposed pipeline would cut through Golden-cheeked Warbler habitat

Proposed pipeline would cut through Golden-cheeked Warbler habitat

Every March, birders spill into the canyonlands outside of Austin, Texas, to search for Golden-cheeked Warblers. The tiny black-and-white songbird, with vibrant yellow splashed across its face, is the state’s sole endemic bird, and a federally protected species with an estimated population of 27,000. In early spring the birds migrate up from Central America to nest in the Hill Country, a region of limestone hills, caves, clear creeks, and swimming holes in Central Texas. There they construct deep cup nests, weaving strands of ash-juniper…

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Letter to the Editor, Time to get past denial and start finding solutions

Letter to the Editor, Time to get past denial and start finding solutions

by Eva Silverfine Ott, Comal County Resident Letter to the Editor of the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung June 27, 2019 I want to applaud Chris Lykins for his editorial, “The Climate Change Conspiracy” (Herald-Zeitung, 6-16-19). The effects of greenhouse gases (82% of which is carbon dioxide; U.S. EPA 2017) have long been known. As Mr. Lykins points out, how we address the problem is open for debate, but the fundamental science is not. Doubt has been sowed by an industry and…

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New Edwards Aquifer facility designed to protect endangered species

New Edwards Aquifer facility designed to protect endangered species

A new facility to research and protect some endangered species that are native to central Texas opened Thursday. The new Edwards Aquifer habitat conservation plan buildings will house a handful of endangered species that include the San Marcos salamander, the comal springs riffle beetle, the foundation darter, and eve Texas wild rice–a grass native to the San Marcos River. Read more from Matthew Prendergast with KXAN here

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Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Preserve now open to the public

Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Preserve now open to the public

The project the late Gay Ruby Dahlstrom worked for almost a decade over is now complete and open to the public as a nature preserve and conservation easement. Hays County, the Hill Country Conservancy and the Dahlstrom family announced the opening of the Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Preserve. The nature preserve is located in Buda on the Dahlstrom Ranch spanning 384 acres of undeveloped land. Pct. 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said the county fully supported the project and invested more than…

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Judge rules Golden-cheeked Warbler should stay on endangered species list

Judge rules Golden-cheeked Warbler should stay on endangered species list

A bright-faced songbird of the Texas Hill Country still faces enough threat from population growth and land development in the San Antonio-Austin region to need shelter under the Endangered Species Act, a federal judge in Austin has ruled. Senior U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks sided with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week in a case centered on the golden-cheeked warbler, a 3- to 5-inch migratory songbird that only nests in around 39 counties in Central Texas. The Texas General…

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Blanco River named 2018 “Water To Watch” by National Fish Habitat Partnership

The Blanco River is one of the primary river networks that Central Texas communities depend upon for drinking water, flood abatement, agricultural production and recreation. Thanks to collaborative conservation work conducted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), landowners and other local partners, the Blanco River was named one of 20 “Waters to Watch” by the National Fish Habitat Partnership in 2018. The “Waters to Watch” are voluntary, locally-driven projects representing some of the top conservation activities in progress implemented by…

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Lawmakers, Lobbyists and the Administration Join Forces to Overhaul the Endangered Species Act

Lawmakers, Lobbyists and the Administration Join Forces to Overhaul the Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act, which for 45 years has safeguarded fragile wildlife while blocking ranching, logging and oil drilling on protected habitats, is coming under attack from lawmakers, the White House and industry on a scale not seen in decades, driven partly by fears that the Republicans will lose ground in November’s midterm elections. In the past two weeks, more than two dozen pieces of legislation, policy initiatives and amendments designed to weaken the law have been either introduced or…

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Whither the Warbler’s habitat?

Whither the Warbler’s habitat?

Comal County is one of the top 10 fastest-growing counties in the United States, and a loose coalition of concerned residents and activist groups think it is time for residents to start thinking about protecting open space and acquiring park land – “Before it’s too late.” At Land Conservation Options for Comal County, a panel discussion Nov. 8 at the McKenna Events Center in New Braunfels, Katherine Romans, executive director of Hill Country Alliance; Annalisa Peace of Greater Edwards Aquifer…

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CEMEX to partner in county wildlife conservation plan

CEMEX to partner in county wildlife conservation plan

Will Wright | Herald-Zeitung | Comal County Commissioners recently approved steps to formalize an agreement between the county’s Regional Habitat Conservation Plan and CEMEX Construction Materials South, which will establish wildlife protection for endangered species adjacent to the CEMEX quarry site. County Engineer Tom Hornseth said the agreement pledges CEMEX’s participation in the RHCP, which protects habitat areas for endangered species, such as the golden-cheeked warbler, on CEMEX’s 761-acre tract at 2682 Wald Road. The golden-cheeked warbler is a small, migratory…

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